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First Look: Maxxis DHF & DHR II ‘Wide Trail’

First Look: Maxxis DHF and DHR II ‘Wide Trail’ (WT)

Maxxis announced the new “Wide Trail” versions of a number of their most popular tires at Interbike. The “WT” option is currently available on the DHF, DHR II, and Shorty tires, but it will almost certainly be available on other Maxxis tires in the future.

We received the DHF and DHR II WT prior to Interbike, and have been getting time on the new rubber. That full review will come soon, but here is some initial info to chew on.

Wider Tires for Wider Rims

WT tires have the same basic tread pattern as the “traditional” versions of these tires, but they’re designed to work better on wider rims—according to Maxxis, Wide Trail tires are built with a 35mm internal rim width in mind.

It’s important to note that Wide Trail tires are an additional option. They’re not replacing anything, and Maxxis’ full standard line will still be available.

Admittedly, when I first heard that Maxxis was tinkering with the DHF and DHR2, I was nervous. Those are two of my favorite tires ever made, and I’d venture a guess that I’ve spent more time on DHFs than any other tire in existence. I was worried that this was some ill-conceived venture into making a hybrid between “regular” tires and the Plus sized tires that are currently all the rage.

A Little Background

Not long ago, it was pretty rare to find someone running 35mm-wide rims on a trail bike, in part because it was really hard to build such a wide rim that was strong enough and light enough to be viable for most riders. But as carbon rims became more prevalent and rim weights went down, a few companies (like Derby) started making extra wide rims that weighed about the same as rims that were half as wide.

Fast forward a few years, wide rims are now increasingly common, and some companies like Kona are starting to spec trail bikes with rims over 30mm wide. And while lightweight carbon rims may have started the wider trend, companies like WTB are now producing wide, relatively inexpensive, aluminum rims.

But as rims got wider, tires stayed the same. Some people seemed to be ok with that, since the reason they went to wide rims in the first place was to gain a squared-off tire profile and a bit more bite in corners.

Here’s a picture comparing a few 2.4” Maxxis tires. From left to right: Highroller II 2.4” (regular version) on a 35mm internal rim; DHR II 2.4” (Wide Trail) on a 35mm internal rim; Highroller II 2.4” (regular version) on a 25mm internal rim.

Noah Bodman reviews Maxxis Wide Trail Tires for Blister Gear Review

Left to Right: Highroller II 2.4”  (regular version) on a 35mm internal rim; DHR II 2.4” (Wide Trail) on a 35mm internal rim; Highroller II 2.4” (regular version) on a 25mm internal rim.

Note the more squared-off profile of the tires on the wider rims, but also note the shape of the cornering knobs on the WT tire in the middle. (More on that below.)

Most tires in the past have been designed around narrower rims, and the knobs are shaped accordingly. Even more DH-oriented tires like the DHF were originally designed with narrower rims in mind; when the DHF originally came out, even the widest commonly-available downhill rims had an internal width of around 32-33mm.

Enter the Wide Trail. They’ve got the same tread pattern, but the knob shape has been tweaked to give more support to the cornering knobs when mounted on a wide rim, and the spacing between the knobs has been tweaked a bit to dial things in for the wider rims.

The Upshot?

The first thing I noticed with the Wide Trail tires is that the width of the tire itself stays essentially the same (or even slightly narrower) than the regular version of the tire. Here’s some measurements comparing the new Wide Trail tires to other Maxxis tires on an assortment of rim widths. All measurements are taken at the widest point of the side knobs.

Noah Bodman reviews Maxxis Wide Trail Tires for Blister Gear Review

The next thing I noticed is that, while the casing itself is the same, the side knobs are oriented in such a way that they’re supported a bit better.

In the picture below, you can see the difference: on the left is a DHF 2.5” Wide Trail. On the right is a regular DHF 2.5”. Both tires are on the same rim. You can see that the side knobs on the Wide Trail are much more vertical, whereas the side knobs on the regular tire hang out over the casing a bit more.

Noah Bodman reviews Maxxis Wide Trail Tires for Blister Gear Review

Left: DHF 2.5” Wide Trail. Right: Regular DHF 2.5”

In a practical sense, this means that the Wide Trail tire should squirm a bit less under hard cornering, and initial riding impressions prove this to be the case. It’s not a hugely dramatic difference, but it’s an improvement.

Another difference (which is somewhat hard to see in the pictures), is that the side knobs are situated slightly closer to the center of the tread. The channel between the center knobs and the side knobs is reduced by around 2mm.

At first glance, it would seem that this would actually reduce cornering traction. Part of the beauty of the Minion series is that channel—that open space in there means that when you lean the tire over, all of your weight is driving those side knobs into the ground, and there aren’t any other knobs getting in the way that would be taking weight off of those cornering knobs. So it would seem that moving the side knobs inboard a bit would actually decrease the ability to really keep those knobs locked into a corner.

But on a wider rim, the tire has a much more squared-off profile. That square profile means that you don’t have to lean the bike over all that far before the center knobs aren’t really doing much, and the side knobs are the only things touching the ground. On a narrower rim with a more rounded tire profile, you’d have to lean a bit farther to get to that point. So it would seem that by bumping the side knobs in a smidge, Maxxis is trying to keep the lean angle at which the tire locks into a corner roughly the same as it was on the narrower rims.

Bottom Line (For Now)

My initial take from riding these a bit is that the Maxxis Wide Trail versions of the DHF and DHRII offer some minor but welcome tweaks to two of my favorite tread patterns. I’m currently getting more time on these—mounted to some WTB Asym rims (35mm internal rim width)—and I’ll be updating this review with a more in-depth discussion of their riding characteristics.

42 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Slim September 23, 2015 Reply

    Could you list the casing and tread with separately?
    One thing that I wonder about using wider rims is having the tread be much narrower than the casing. This can lead to 2 problems:
    1- the sidewall is more exposed to rock slicing
    2- once you lean the bike over beyond a certain amount, if you lean any further(sliding out slightly) you suddenly ‘run out of knobs’ leading to a sudden loss of traction, rather than a more controlled slide
    For this reason, I was expecting tire brands to make wide rim tires with a WIDER tread, whether by adding a row of knobs or spacing the, wider, rather than narrowing the tread.

    • Noah Bodman Author
      Noah Bodman September 24, 2015 Reply

      I checked on the casing width, and I’m showing the WT version to be a smidge wider than the regular casing. On a 28mm internal rim, the WT casing was about 60.5mm at its widest point, and the regular casing was about 59.5mm at its widest point.

      Agreed that this, along with the more upright side knob profile, potentially exposes the tread to slicing a bit more.

      Also agreed that these tires will likely have a more defined break away point, although 1) I personally prefer that as it makes the tire more predictable, and I find that once I learn the tires limit, I can accurately lean it to that limit in every corner, rather than sort of feeling it out in every turn; and 2) I think the “regular” version of these tires had a pretty defined break away point as well. From riding the WT tires back to back with the regular version, I don’t find the break away point to be radically different. The WT’s are just a bit less squirmy when at the limit, which I mostly attribute to the extra support on the side knobs.

  2. parider September 24, 2015 Reply

    I don’t get it. It looks like the wide specific tire on a wide rim looks like a normal tire on a normal rim. Why not just run a normal rim?

    • dand March 10, 2017 Reply

      On a wider rim the tire is stable on a lower pressure…

  3. Bryan H. September 24, 2015 Reply

    This review has me a little perplexed. If Maxxis reduced the bead-to-bead (or inner tire periphery) distance of the “Wide Trail” models so that the section width remained the same (compared to a regular tire on a conventional rim), then the tread arc will also remain the same, and there would be no need to relocate the shoulder knobs closer to the tread centerline. Simply put, MTB tires only appear more ‘Squared off’ due to the larger casing diameter caused by mounting them onto wider rims. But reducing the inner tire periphery so that the casing diameter remains the same would leave the shoulder lugs in exactly the same location, compared to the regular tire on a conventional rim.

    Furthermore, if the inner tire periphery was NOT reduced (or was only partially reduced), then the shoulder lugs would need to move AWAY from the tread centerline, not towards it. Mounting a tire on a wider rim causes the casing diameter to increase, which would necessitate moving the shoulder knobs slightly further down the sidewall in order for them to engage at the same lean angle as on a regular tire on a conventional rim.

    Slim, above, hinted at this in his point #2.

    • Noah Bodman Author
      Noah Bodman September 24, 2015 Reply

      I’m with you in that I was scratching my head a bit when I noticed that they’d moved the side knobs in a bit closer. I also was expecting the opposite. The extra support on the side knobs makes sense to me, but the knob spacing thing was a bit odd.

      As best as I can ascertain (and what I was trying to say in the review, but maybe didn’t convey it very well), is that it seems like Maxxis is trying to dictate the maximum lean angle and offer maximum support on the cornering knobs at that angle. Whether or not they succeeded in that is certainly a point of discussion. All I can say for the moment is that I have another few days on these since I wrote this initial piece, and I’d say they hook up slightly better than the regular versions (which I had mounted up immediately prior to running the WT’s). Definitely not a massive difference, but they feel locked in, and I don’t feel like I run out of side knobs too early.

      So yeah, my armchair engineering thought the spacing thing was a little backwards, but so far I’m pretty happy with the results.

  4. Jwick September 26, 2015 Reply

    Part of the appeal of wide rims (at least for me) is the slightly reduced air pressures I can run and still not rip the bead of the rim in hard cornering. As a huge fan of the DHR2 I, of course, mounted up a set on my wider rims (31mm internal). Reducing the pressures on the DHR2 in this scenario had me riding on the side knobs even in straight line riding where one is looking for less rolling resistance. It braked and cornered even better than normal but the substantial increase in rolling resistance had me dropping my beloved DHR2’s for something else on wide rims. I am also perplexed why they moved the side knobs inward. Seems like the opposite would increases the limits of the cornering, keep the roling resistance in check, and let the reduction of pressure increase the traction. Why pigeon hole the wider rims/tires with the limits of the “standard” setup?

  5. Adam Errington November 22, 2015 Reply

    Like Jwick, I am also perplexed why they moved the side knobs inward. Would corner just as good where they are and a wide profile is good for traction over roots and rocks etc especially when wet.

  6. Tim January 12, 2016 Reply

    Interesting: At Eurobike, Maxxis did not emphasize the Wide Trail aspect. In some shops, these tires are preordered simply as . On the German Maxxis website, these new tires are not carrying a Wide Trail designation.

    I’m running i29 rims, and don’t want to go any wider right now, specifically because I want to keep some flexibility when it comes to tire choice. I’m also desperately expecting the arrival of the first shipment of the 622/29er Shorty 2.5 and DHR II 2.4 for my E29. Now I’m reading these are designed “with i35 rims in mind.”

    I’m wondering if it is a smart idea to position tires specifically for i35 rims, when the majority of riders are on more narrow rims, but (like me) may still want to run a wider tire. Even more so as the thread pattern seems the tire may be losing some of the benefit of the wider rim on the way.

    Noah, could you give a ride impression of the wider tires on rims less wide, such as around i29?

  7. mtbiker4Lyf January 23, 2016 Reply

    when will WT tires be available in the US? I currently run 2.3 DHRII / DHF on 35mm OD rims and can’t wait to get the WT versions!!

  8. YoKev February 2, 2016 Reply

    “” tires like the DHF were originally designed with narrower rims in mind; when the DHF originally came out, even the widest commonly-available downhill rims had an internal width of around 32-33mm.””
    I don’t remember that at all.
    Back when the DHF was initially released, I remember DH rims having WAY under 30mm internal width.
    What about us with 30mm internally wide rims-ala Roval Fatties?
    I asked Maxxis about this, and they told me the WTs would have a more rounded shape because they’re too wide.
    Of course then you have Specialized putting 3.0-inch tires on these rims for their 6R Fattie Stump Jumpy, and ’til this point, everybody and their brother making MTB tires had been making them for MAX widths of around 25mm, yet they tell you 30mm is fine.
    If that’s the case, then MTB tires are the ONLY tire(s) made that are happy being mounted on hugely varying width rims, as auto and motorcycle tire manufacturers make their tires in different widths to fit different width wheels.
    You put a 200mm tire on the back end of a bike with a 5″ wheel, and that tire’s beads are gonna be pulled in so much that the tire is gonna freaking balloon up, making the rear of the bike fall in MUCH quicker than the front. And THAT can easily cause a crash.
    Conversely, you put a 180mm wide tire on a 6″ wide wheel, and the tire will be squared off making the rear of the bike wanna stay upright, and also losing desperately needed real estate on the sides to provide cornering grip.
    I measured a Hans Dampf on a 25mm(interally) wide rim and it came out to 2.35 inches wide.
    I then put the same tire on my Fattie(s)-29mm internal width and the thing damn near came out to a full 2.5″ wide!
    Obviously its profile is much more squared off on the Fattie, but the only thing I’ve really noticed is the extra grip I now have. I must add that with the extra width and the shape of the rim lips on the Fatties, I’ve been able to run 2-3psi lower pressure as well-without worrying about burping-, thus resulting in even larger contact patches.
    The reality of the situation is frankly a mess. Obviously tire manufacturers don’t wanna spend the money on making special tires for the new wider rims, at least unless/until they know if it’s just a passing fad, or an innovation that’s here to stay.
    Lets face it: the 2.3, 2.35, 2.4, and even 2.5-inch tires were originally designed to run on anything from 19mm to 25mm+/- rims, and now all of a sudden Specialized dumped a plethora of 29-30mm wide rims/wheels on the market, which in turn had Ibis freaking spaZZing out with their 40mm rims, now it seems that everybody and their brother(s) are jumping on the bandwagon as well. Being the bicycle industry however, the home of ‘standardization, what’s that?’ don’t hold your breath thinking/hoping that they’ll [finally] pull their collective heads out of their aZZes and agree to make these Big Bertha rims in agreed-upon STANDARD sizes, so tire manufacturers are gonna have to come up with a way to make as FEW carcasses as possible for any given tire width, but still have ’em fit rims that vary as much as 15mm in width! The only thing for sure that will come out of this is, WE’RE all gonna pay HIGHER prices for the same freaking tires we’ve been buying all along, thanks to the same people that brought us the ISCG and ISCG05 chain guards

  9. Shawn April 4, 2016 Reply

    I think it’s worth mentioning that the knobs on the WT tires are considerably larger and have less space between individual knob. I have the old DHF mounted on the rear and the WT DHF on the front of my bike with traverse fattie sl wheels. Just from my perspective the knobs on the WT are considerably larger, perhaps the knob orientation is closer to the original than we think, it’s just that the knobs are taking up much more room on the casing leading to smaller clearances between knobs.

    • izik April 10, 2016 Reply

      Do you see an improvement in traction in the wt over the original dhf? Im thinking about running a dhf wt 2.5 front and aggressor 2.3 dd rear on 31 internal rims but have no past experience with wide rims, will the 2.3 aggressor be to square over a wide trail dhr2?

    • Neil B October 9, 2016 Reply

      Shawn, I agree about the knobs, I see smaller spaces but measure wider overall knob width on the WT, on a Shorty, mind. All at same psi, settled 12 hours as they do “grow” a touch.
      Rim Width. Casing. Tread (widest knobs, they vary)
      Shorty MxxTerra 2.3 Derby 34mm 61.2* 60.5*
      Shorty MxxTerra 2.5WT Derby 34mm 61.5* 63.2*

  10. D(C) April 13, 2016 Reply

    For those looking for big tires with rims that are not especially wide (21-25 mm inner width), would the WT tires be a good choice?

    • Noah April 13, 2016 Reply

      That’s a good question. I’ve tried the WT tires on slightly narrower rims (30mm), but thus far I haven’t tried them on anything narrower than that. My instinct is that they’d work fine, but the “regular” version of the tires might work a bit better.

  11. Mike April 25, 2016 Reply

    Hi Noah
    Great write up. Would you say that for 30mm ID rims the WT’s are the way to go over the standard Minion? 30 seems to be right in the middle.

    Thanks

    • Noah April 25, 2016 Reply

      Hey Mike,

      Yeah, I think WT’s work well on a 30mm ID rim – that’s the setup I’ve been running all spring. If you’re interested, take a look at the First Look at Enve’s HV rims that was posted a few weeks back. Enve did a bunch of testing, and found that there’s a pretty minimal difference in tire casing stiffness between a 30mm and a 35mm rim. And my much less scientific review leads to the same conclusion.

      I’ll be posting a follow up on these WT tires pretty soon. Long story short – they’re great. For a 2.5″ tire, I’d say the over/under on rim width is somewhere around 27-28mm (above that, I’d go WT, below that, I’d go “regular”).

      -Noah

  12. Scott Feldman July 26, 2016 Reply

    Noah, what’s up from CO!

    I was searching for exactly the numbers you ended with — i.e. what’s the rim width where the WT becomes the tire of choice vs the regular. Thanks for publishing. Hope all’s going well. Drop me a line (assuming you can see my email).

  13. Steve Taylor August 14, 2016 Reply

    Hello Noah,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write your helpful guide; I appreciate it.

    I own a Yeti SB5C with Derby 40mm rims (35mm internal width and 40mm external width). I recently contacted Yeti and asked them what would be the largest front tire size and back tire size I could run on my bike. They replied that the maximum front tire size would be 2.5 and the maximum rear tire size would be 2.4. I’m kind of frustrated in my search for “mid plus” size tires that are on the market. I think the majority of tire companies have done a poor job of marketing these kinds of tires because when you go to their websites; you need to spend a lot of time drilling down to find them. That sucks! However, if you are looking for regular “Plus” tires; they come up immediately at the top. Seems like they really don’t care about “mid plus” guys and fall all over themselves trying to please 27.5 plus guys!!!

    I have a question for you:

    1. What “Wide Tires” would you recommend for my 40mm Derby wheels? Please be specific about what type for front and what type for rear.

    BTW, I live in the Seattle area and ride in loose, hard and wet conditions. I’d like to find good wide tires for my bike that are in the 600-800 gram range. Nothing heavy. Also, if you can please comment further about any information you have involving mid plus wheels like Derby and Ibis and the best tires for them. I’m sure there are a lot of other guys like me with Derby and Ibis wheels; so any helpful information you can give me will also be helping the others who find this information here.

    Many thanks!

    • Noah Bodman Author
      Noah Bodman August 15, 2016 Reply

      Hey Steve,

      You’ve set a pretty tough set of criteria for your tires. If you’re looking for a wide tire that works well on a 35mm internal rim, I’d definitely point you towards the Maxxis Wide Trail Minions that I was testing here. But they’re definitely quite a bit heavier than what you’re looking for.

      Off the top of my head, I don’t know of any wide tires that are as light as what you’re looking for. They may well exist, but they’d need to have a very light casing to achieve that kind of weight, and I’d expect that they wouldn’t hold up to rocky terrain very well.

      But really, there aren’t many companies making “mid plus” type tires. Aside from the Maxxis Wide Trail options, Specialized just came out with some 2.6″ options in the Butcher and Slaughter, but you might run into clearance issues with those.

  14. Steve Taylor August 15, 2016 Reply

    Noah,

    I appreciate the feedback. I now realize my criteria is unrealistic and will accept the heavier weight tires.

    Can you please be more specific about what tire goes on the front and what tire goes on the back?

    Also, what do you think about me choosing only a Maxxis Wide Trail tire for the front only and not the back? I was thinking something like a 2.3 Nobby Nic or Maxxis Ikon as a back tire….

    • Noah August 16, 2016 Reply

      Hey Steve,

      As far as the Minions, the best place to start would just be DHF in the front, DHR II in the rear. Some people run DHF’s front and rear (slightly faster rolling), or DHR II’s front and rear (slightly more traction), but you’re not going to go terribly wrong either way about it.

      I think going with a Wide Trail DHF in the front and something a bit faster rolling in the rear makes a lot of sense, but personally, I probably wouldn’t go all the way down to a Nobby Nic or Ikon. For me, those sort of tires don’t give the kind of traction I’m looking for, and I get worried about durability when I go to a lighter weight casing. I’d probably lean towards a 2.3″ Maxxis Aggressor if you wanted to retain some braking traction, or a semi slick like a 2.3″ Minion SS or a Specialized Slaughter if faster rolling was a priority. For either of those I’d go with a beefed up casing (Exo or double down on the Minion, Grid on the Slaughter), but if you’re not riding particularly rocky terrain, you could probably get away with something lighter.

      • Scott Feldman August 16, 2016 Reply

        >Some people run DHF’s front and rear (slightly faster rolling), or DHR II’s front and rear (slightly more traction)

        I think you meant to reverse those parentheticals. Not to be that guy, just helping clarify. Man, I’m being that guy, aren’t I? Crap.

        • Noah August 16, 2016 Reply

          Heh. Well, yeah, you’re being that guy. But I’d still say a DHF rolls faster than a DHR II. The center knobs on the DHF form a more continuous strip of raised rubber than the DHR II, which means the DHR II bites harder while braking, but rolls a touch slower. At least that’s been my impression, but I don’t have any fancy equipment to back up my subjective assertions.

          For the sake of conversation, and assuming the same size, rubber compound, and casing throughout, I’d rank the Maxxis tire lineup in terms of rolling resistance as (slowest to fastest): DHR II, DHF, Highroller II, Griffon, Aggressor, Ardent, Minion SS. Not sure where the Tomahawk, Ikon, or others land since I haven’t spent much time on them.

          • Scott Feldman August 16, 2016 Reply

            Well, you learn something new every day. I’ve ridden both tires but never a DHR front.I’ve seen a DHF spec’d front and rear on a DH bike, a DHR spec’d front and rear on a AllTrailDuro bike , and the aforementioned DHF front DHR rear, and always went with the assumption that you’d put the faster rolling tire in the back and thus a DHR would be faster rolling, but maybe that’s not the case.

            • Noah August 16, 2016 Reply

              For a little while, Santa Cruz was actually spec’ing a DHR II front and rear on the Bronson, and maybe some other models.

              I’m actually a big fan of a DHR II front and rear on the DH bike. More braking traction. Slightly driftier ride but still lots of cornering bite. Not particularly fast rolling, but whatever, it’s a DH bike.

              But yeah, I dunno. As far as rolling resistance, it’s not a world of difference between a DHF and DHR II, and I’ve never seen anyone do any empirical testing that wasn’t full of inconsistencies and uncontrolled variables.

  15. Michael September 9, 2016 Reply

    Yo Noah,
    I’m not really much of a weight weenie, but do take it into consideration when trying to consider what I’m getting for what I’m spending.
    When I go from something like the Spec Control casing to the Spec GRID casing and get a much more durable and better performing sidewall, I totally see the value in that weight penalty. For the WT switch though, what I’m hearing is very small performance gain with a 100gm per tire penalty.
    Not saying I wouldn’t do it, but am saying that it’s a serious variable to consider.

    This is different than the debate on whether to go to a Plus bike or Fat bike where you simply need to acknowledge the different bikes come with different weights. And the fact that one of the biggest mistakes of the Plus movement has been to try making wider tires with less rubber to convince folks that the bikes will be no different from traditional widths.
    Cheers,
    Michael

    • Noah September 9, 2016 Reply

      Hey Michael,

      I’m not sure I’m following – where are you getting the 100g weight penalty from? I don’t believe there’s much of a weight difference between the 2.5″ non-WT version of the DHF, and the new 2.5″ WT version (assuming comparable casing / rubber compound on each).

      -Noah

  16. Vik September 9, 2016 Reply

    Hey Noah,

    I’m a big fan of the Conti Trail Kings in 2.4″ width. I love the volume and the traction to RR ratio for PNWet riding. Thing is I’ve started to destroy rear TKs like you did in your review. That’s getting old and a bit expensive. So I’m looking for replacement that’s got lots of volume and similar traction/rolling resistance.

    How would you rate the DHF 2.5″ tire vs the TKs?

    The other tire that seems comparable is the Vittoria Morsa 2.3″. Both the DHF 2.5″ and Morsa 2.3″ look about equivalent in volume to the TK 2.4″.

    I do lots of steep techy climbing so I don’t want tires that are significantly slower than the TKs.

    Thanks,

    Vik

  17. Neil September 20, 2016 Reply

    Vik,
    I say Minion DHR2 2.3 for the rear unless you have over 30mm internal rims then maybe the WT variant (same casing bigger knobs). The DHR 2 brakes and drives great. The DHF rolls easier, they say, your call.
    I think they are better tyres than the Conti TK which to me even in the black chilli rubber doesnt grip great on turns.
    The Conti Baron is a different matter, its fabulous, I never tried it on a rim over 25 internal tho. It looks narrow but it does perform.
    Food reviews at enduro mag (german publisher) amd wheelsizeagnostic too.
    If you destroy rear tyres you’d maybe need the double down version of the Maxxis?
    I love the DHR2 2.3 rear (on a 25mm rim), its great on mixed trails, even Ok in mud (but not as good as a shorty) and, to me, it rolls and pedals fine. pedals easier than the Trailstar compound razor that’s a bear to pedal on fire roads IMO.

    If a tough easy rolling tyre is your priority the Mavic Quest XL Pro is really nice, it’s reinforced and rolls great. Not for deep mud of course. A pal tells me its good on the Derby too (34mm internal). It has pretty good edges.
    Those semi slicks like Schwalbe Rock Razor (hard compound), Slaughter and Maxxis SS roll lovely and grip in corners but I like to have a functioning rear brake on steep loose trails.

  18. alpinesifter February 19, 2017 Reply

    Hmmm.
    Does anyone know why there’s no DHF 2.5WT in 29 inch?
    Seems they make a rear at DHR2 2.4 WT but no front tire to match??

    • Noah February 20, 2017 Reply

      I don’t know any specifics, but Maxxis has indicated that there’ll be more WT options coming in the future. Which tires and when they’ll come out is still unclear though.

      At a guess, they’re probably offering WT options on their most popular configurations to start with and then working down the line.

  19. neil February 20, 2017 Reply

    Hey alpinesifter,

    the rear make a fab front tyre, more grip and braking than a DHF, it’s almost like they reversed the naming. why not buy one and try it? I am loving my WT Shorty right down to 14 psi in the slop, didn’t get a WT DHR yet but i will. and it will go up front on my 24mm int rim.

  20. neil March 10, 2017 Reply

    oops,
    that would be it will go upfront on my £$mm int rim 0 NOIT 24mm

  21. neil March 10, 2017 Reply

    Wow, that was no improvement!!
    it will be on my 35mm internal rim, NIOT 24mm!!!

  22. Daniel Shiels April 19, 2017 Reply

    Hi Noah, I’m coming to this late but have ordered a dhf wt for my flow mk3 front rim. I’m left with the options of hr2 3c 2.4, hr2 dual 2.3 and minion ss 2.3 on the arch mk3 rear. I rode the 2.4 upfront on an arch mk3 with either of the others on the rear depending on the weather but destroyed the rear rim and had the front arch transferred to the rear and a new flow fitted up front. Do you think the 2.4 on the rear might be overkill? Wondering if the grip will be worth the decrease in rolling speed on the climbs. Great review, sorry for the essay

    • Noah Bodman Author
      Noah Bodman April 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Daniel,

      Personally, I’d probably go with the 2.3″ HR2 – it’ll roll a bit faster than the 2.4, and it should pair nicely with the 2.4 in the front to make the bike oversteer a little bit in corners. But either way about it, I don’t think you’re going to go wrong. Those are all great tires, so it kind of just comes down to personal preference.

      -Noah

  23. Daniel Shiels April 19, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the reply Noah, was leaning that way but there was some appeal in making a monster truck haha.

  24. Michal May 4, 2017 Reply

    Has anyone experienced riding these WT tyres on 25mm ID rims? I have a set of Stan Flows EX which are 25.5 and they compare the closest to Stans new Arch MK3 rims at 26mm. According to their Wideright system the Arch can go up to 2.5″

  25. Neil May 5, 2017 Reply

    Hi Michal

    I’ve found with wide rims, big volume and the inevitable more verical sidewalls (tyre loses some of its “lightbulb” shape) you HAVE to drop the pressure or the ride is harsh. So big wide rims and DH with hard cornering loads don’t match for me. Mind, my 34 rim is carbon, so inevitably harsher. I didnt like the 34 rim on full on rocky DH tracks.

    Some measurements:

    Tyre, Rim & internal width Casing (12 after hours) tread (widest)(*12h)
    Shorty MxxTerra 2.3 Hope Enduro 23mm 55.2 59.6
    Shorty MxxTerra 2.3 Derby 34mm 61.2* 60.5*
    Shorty MxxTerra 2.5WT Derby 34mm 61.5* 63.2*
    Shorty MxxGrip 2.5 WT DT 471EX 25mm 59* 62.6* 1190g
    *size grows 0.7-0.8mm over 12h

    So, using digital vernier calipers I measured a Shorty in both sizes both on a 34 int rim, the casing was virtually identical between 2.35 and 2.5WT. On the wider rim, the WT tread was 2.7mm wider, so not a whole lot.

    Comparing the same 2.3 Maxxterra tyre on a 23mm (Hope) and 34mm (Derby) rims – the casing was 6mm different. so, I think its totally the rim that’s providing the tyre volume. If you want big volume you need a wide rim. The WT 2.5 seems to be built on the same casing as the 2.35.

    As you can see above, I also fitted a Shorty WT (Maxxgrip in this case) to a 25 internal rim and it came up to 59mm casing, 62.6 tread.
    So, although the casing changed a lot, the WT tread was only 0.6mm less than a similar (same size different compound, both WT 2.5) tyre on a 34 internal rim.
    The rim had a BIG effect on casing width and not that much on tread width.
    The WT tyre is certainly more rounded (in section) on the smaller rim. But it still has a nice edge.

    So, I think I did OK putting the WT on the 25 rim, in that case its a Maxxgrip and it does well on wet roots at 20 psi which is enough for old guy DH, so I am happy.
    More grip is nice on those roots.

    As Noah wrote, though, more tread on the ground = more grip = so more rolling resistance.
    This Maxxgrip tyre is very much a steep downslope in wet woods tyre for me, so thats fine.
    Would I see the same grip with a 2.35 (right spec for the rim)? Reviews suggest not. Wheelsizeagnostic blog has some good info about that.

    (If I had a slightly larger alloy rim (maybe a 28) I’d CONSIDER using it cos that would allow me to drop the pressure just a bit and give a more compliant casing. But would it stand up to DH speed cornering loads at 15-17psi, maybe not.)

    I can run the maxxterra WT thats on the 35 rim far softer (15-17psi, my pal runs 12 upfront) than on a smaller rims – so that’s likely putting even more tread on the ground and it grips great.
    The Maxxgrip on the 25 rim seems to grip a BIT more despite being on “the wrong” rim, it is pretty soft. I’m happy.

    I like the Maxxterra WT Shorty on the 34 carbon rim for woods trailriding. The low pressure is nice on those trails and of course crnering is less hard.
    The Maxxgrip I put on the 25 (DT 471) rim is more for proper DH tracks. That rim is less susceptible to damage and DH gives more speed and higher cornering loads, so I’d not get away with low pressure there, losing the advantages of big volume.

    I need to do more comparisons (or just enjoy the trails) but there’s some facts for you. I don’t ever feel the need for a WT at the rear. A Maxxterra 2.35 on a 24 internal rim serves me well there. On all Winter trails.

    If youre looking for the advantages supposedly attached to running more volume and lower pressure (in some cases I like that myself) youll have to get a wide rim. The WT tyre does not probide that as, by my measurement, its the same casing as the 2.35.

    Bit more grip on your 25 rim, for the front, yeah I’d get the WT based on my limited tests. Not for the back though. Can you pedal a Maxxgrip? If so thats the way to go upfront.

    Hope it helps

    Neil B

  26. Neil May 5, 2017 Reply

    My “table” got reformatted, hope this version is easier to read:

    Tyre, Rim & internal width Casing (12 after hours) tread (widest)(*12h)
    Shorty MxxTerra 2.3 Hope Enduro 23mm -55.2 -59.6

    Shorty MxxTerra 2.3 Derby 34mm – 61.2* – 60.5*

    Shorty MxxTerra 2.5WT Derby 34mm -61.5* -63.2*

    Shorty MxxGrip 2.5 WT DT 471EX 25mm -59*. -62.6*

    If the line spaces dont work it should still make sense. ;-( hope so

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